Friday, 20 January 2023

Battlereport - Raupenhelm Rhein vs Prussian

A game this week between my Confederation of the Rhine forces (Bavaria, Baden, Wurttemberg), and Matt's Prussians (with a few Russian allies).  For this I used only my Raupenhelm (Caterpillar helm) Confederation of the Rhine units.


Confederation of the Rhine Forces

  • CinC with 2 command rerolls
  • Bavarian: Competent General, 4 Line, 1 Veteran Light, 1 Skirmsher, 1 Foot Artillery
  • Wurttemberg: Competent General, 4 Line, 1 Skirmisher, 1 Foot Artillery
  • Baden: Competent General, 4 Line, 1 Skirmisher, 1 Foot Artillery
  • Bavaria/Baden: Strategist General, 2 Veteran Dragoons, 1 Veteran Horse Artillery
  • Bavaria: Competent General, 2 Light Cavalry, 1 Veteran Horse Artillery

Prussian & Russian

  • CinC with 1 command reroll
  • Prussian: Strategist General, 3 Line, 2 Light Infantry, 1 Rifle Skirmishers, 1 Lancer, 1 Foot Artillery
  • Prussian: Strategist General,  3 Veteran Line, 1 Rifle Skirmishers, 1 Foot Artillery
  • Prussian: Strategist General, 3 Veteran Dragoon, 1 Veteran Horse Artillery
  • Prussian: Cautious General, 4 Raw Line (Prussian Landwehr/Reserves), 1 Foot Artillery
  • Russian: Competent General, 3 Recruit Russian Line, 1 Light Infantry, 1 Recruit Skirmisher, 1 Foot Artillery


The Game

This game was an escalating engagement, which meant at least two thirds of each army had to start in reserve. I had just my Bavarian Infantry defending on the left, while the Prussian Guard and Dragoons were on the opposing side. Being the attacker my reserves would probably arrive slightly earlier.





My reserve cavalry rapidly arrives on my right flank, Dragoons, Chevauleger, plus Horse Artillery batteries which deploy and commence firing.


My entire cavalry wing is launched towards the enemy Dragoons and Artillery in a risky charge.

Baden Dragoons batter the Russian Dragoons but are unable to break them and retire. 

But Bavarian Cheavauleger run down the Russian Horse Artillery...

...and charge on into a Prussian attack column, which fends off the attack despite being caught out of square.  Behind them the other Chevauleger also get very lucky, and break the Prussian Cuirassiers who had been hit by artillery fire.


Prussian Dragoons counterattack and charge the Bavarian Dragoons, but are broken by them! The Prussians are having no luck.


The Victorious Bavarian Cavalry falls back to regroup having sucessfully broken two enemy regiments and a horse battery. Wurttemberger reinforcements arrive to push the attack on the right flank, while Badeners are directed to the left flank. 

On the left flank a Prussian Guard attack column attempts to break through the Bavarian line, but they are repulsed.

Wurrtembergers advance on my right flank with three batteries of artillery and cavalry in support.



On the left flank Bavarians and Badeners engage in a deadly musketry dual with the Prussian lines.



On the right flank the Wurttemberger attack columns shatter some Russian recruits but their attack grinds to a halt under pressure. The Bavarian Chevaulegers perform magnificently again and rout the Prussian Uhlans and another artillery battery.



On the left flank, several lines have broken in the musketry dual and others are close to breaking, but daylight is fading as we end the 9th turn.



Both sides are exhausted and the battle ends. The result is a narrow victory to the Rhine who have inflicted heavier losses upon their opponents.

Rhine losses are:
  • 1 Baden Veteran Dragoon
  • 1 Bavarian Chevauleger
  • 3 Baden Line
  • 1 Wurttemberg Line

Prussian & Russian Losses are:
  • 1 Veteran Prussian Infantry
  • 1 Russian Recruit Infantry
  • 1 Prussian Uhlan
  • 2 Veteran Prussian Dragoons
  • 1 Veteran Horse Artillery
  • 1 Foot Artillery


Conclusion

A fun game, with much movement on the right flank, and a grinding attritional firefight on the left flank, as more and more units were fed into the battle. The game was chiefly notable for the performance of the two Bavarian Chevauleger regiments, who in their first game, managed to break four enemy units against the odds! Likely the only time they will perform so amazingly.

For this game we used a variant of the 321 rules we've been testing and playing for over a year now. These have a shoot-move-melee rather than move-shoot-melee turn sequence, plus a number of other changes to speed up play even further, reducing numbers of dice rolls required and only requiring the player whose turn it is to be doing anything (enabling use of timers or chess clocks). A copy of the rules can be found here, and a quickref here. The purpose of these rules is to allow completion of large club games in a resonable timeframe, with several in the planning stages now we are out of the pandemic.

Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Battlereport: Gorzyce 1809

It has been a while since I've updated the blog with a post, but I've been favouring gaming and painting in free time over blogging recently. :) Plus the points based games which we have been playing are not as interesting as historical refights to blog about I think. However, we did do a historical refight today, with the battle of Gorzyce in 1809 - Austrians attempting to evict a Polish Army from territory they claim in the 1809 campaign.


This is a scenario taken from the Roads to Vienna scenario book by Michael Hopper, and slightly modified. Matt used his Polish (painted as Vistula legion but ignore that!), and I used my Austrians.

Brigades involved were:

Polish: Poniatowski (2 Command rerolls)
Rozniecki Infantry (2VP): 4 Line, 1 Skirmishers, 1 Foot Artillery
Rozniecki Cavalry (2VP): 2 Uhlans, 1 Chasseur
Kamieniecki Infantry (1VP - arrives turn 2): 2 Line, 1 Recruit Line, 1 Skirmishers
Kamieniecki Cavalry (2VP - arrives turn 2): 1 Uhlan, 1 Chasseur, 1 Horse Artillery

Austrian: Ferdinand (1 Command reroll)
Branowaczky Infantry (1VP): 2 Light Infantry (Grenz), 1 Skirmishers, 1 Foot Artillery
Branowaczky Cavalry (1VP): 1 Hussar, 1 Small Hussar
Trautenberg (3VP): 3 Large Recruit Line,  1 Recruit Line, 1 Cuirassier
Speth (3VP - arrives turn 2): 2 Large Line, 1 Line, 1 Cuirassier, 1 Horse Artillery

The battlefield is very sparsely populated in this one! The 12 x6 foot table represents an area of roughly 3 miles by 1.5 miles. Key features are the dike berms (represented by hedges), which are a significant defensible obstacle for purpose of shooting and melee (not defensible by cavalry), plus hindrance to movement over them. The Austrians (on the left in photo below, are attempting to get one or more units within a foot or so of the hamlet on the board edge on the right. In addition to getting a Victory Point (VP) if they achieve this, and the Poles getting a VP if they prevent this, breaking enemy formations (removing more than half of the units in them), achieves a number of victory points shown for each Brigade above.



The Battle

The main attack starts on the left. Further Austrian and Polish reinforcements are due to arrive on the right flank turn 2.


Hussars on the Austrian left flank.

Austrians get lucky with a first assault, and capture the first built up area with a hasty assault on turn 2.


On the right flank, both Austrian and Polish reserves arrive.

The Austrians make it to the dike berm, though of course they will need to cross it to break the Polish lines and achieve victory.

The next attacks on the left go poorly, and two large Austrian units are bloodily repulsed. The Poles lack numbers to defend everywhere though, so the first Austrian unit is able to advance over the dike berm, hoping the artillery misses...

Polish Uhlans and Chasseurs engage on the left, running down a Grenz battalion and even managing to bloody a Cuirassier regiment.


Austrians close in on the Hamlet, though the Infantry is halted by combined arms, and Cuirassiers slow as they stop to cross the berm.

On the right large Austrian units and more Cuirassiers cross the dike berm, after the Austrian Horse Artillery gets lucky in silencing its Polish counterparts.

The Poles smash the small Austrian regiment on the right, but will be hard pressed to hold against the Austrian numbers.

On the left the Polish Cavalry manage to rout the Austrian Hussars, but their own formation takes heavy casualties and breaks under artillery fire while attempting to regroup a couple of turns later.


End of the game, the Austrians manage to push through the Polish lines and hold the area. Kamieniecki's light cavalry perform heroically and are able to force the two Cuirassier regiments back, but Austrian infantry swamps the defences.

Rozniekis Brigades are broken as is Branowaczky Cavalry. Branowaczky's Infantry is very close to breaking. Nonetheless a decisive Austrian Victory with 5VP to 1VP.

A few other shots at the end of the battle.


Conclusion

An interesting battle this one, with the Poles facing a tough decision about whether they have a consolidated defence on the dike berm nearer the objective, or whether they also try to defend the more advanced dike berm to slow the first Austrian advances. With so few troops it might also be great for cavalry except of course for the dike berms slowing movement down and interfering with melee.

Troop gradings also need considering for this one. I had rated the second rate troops here as "Recruit" which is a middle grading between Raw and Regular infantry. In rules used these count as Regular morale until half of bases in a unit are disordered at which point they drop to Raw morale. It might have been better to start these at Raw morale so they are always at a disadvantage compared to Regular troops. I had been concerned that the Polish had quite a strong defensive position and not that many fewer troops than the Austrians. However, the larger Austrian units and deployment arrival timings mean it is quite a challenge for the Poles I think, so a Raw grading might have been better so that such units were always at a disadvantage in morale, rather than just after they had taken some damage.

In any case I recommend giving this refight scenario a try, and interesting to fight on a field the size of the Battle of Aspen Essling, but with far fewer troops involved!